ForestEthics and Victoria's Secret Reach Pact on Environmental Stewardship
ForestEthics and Limited Brands, parent company of Victoria's Secret, have announced a new forest protection policy, that includes several landmark environmental measures and ensures that the pulp for the company's catalog paper will not come from endangered forests.
"We consider environmental stewardship to be an essential part of our values, and we're proud to take a leadership role," said Tom Katzenmeyer, Senior Vice President of Community and Philanthropy for Limited Brands.
ForestEthics had been working with the catalog industry for several years to help them reduce their environmental impact on the Canadian Boreal. Two years ago, the group launched a campaign against Limited Brands/Victoria's Secret and shortly after began discussions with the company. Since then, Limited Brands has increased its use of post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content, transitioning its clearance catalogs to sustainable paper with 80% PCW recycled content.
The new measures include:
- Limited Brands will partner with its primary paper supplier to eliminate all pulp supplied from the Boreal Forest (Alberta's Rocky Mountain Foothills) and British Columbia (Inland Temperate Rainforest).
- Shifting its catalogs to either 10% PCW or at least 10% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) content during 2007.
- A preference for FSC certification, the only credible certification for sustainable logging. Limited Brands has partnered with one of its principal suppliers to shift four of its mills to FSC.
- Overall catalog paper reduction.
- A commitment to continual improvement on environmental attributes of catalog paper and paper use. Progress will be audited by an independent third party and made public.
- A commitment to phase out of endangered forests.
- One million dollars committed to research and advocacy to protect endangered forests and ensure leadership in the catalog industry.
At issue throughout the discussions and campaign has been the impact of catalog production on Canada's Great Boreal Forest, which contains 25% of the intact, roadless forest remaining in the world. Stretching from Alaska to Canada's Atlantic coast, the Boreal is a key regulator of global climate, providing one of our first lines of defense against global warming. It is critical habitat for many species, including endangered caribou and half of North America's songbirds, and provides $93.2 billion a year in ecosystem services like air and water filtration. Currently, the Boreal is being logged at a rate of two acres per minute, 24 hours a day, and paper production accounts for nearly 50% of that logging. Limited Brands new policy seeks to prohibit sourcing paper from Endangered Forests in the Boreal, and provides other measures that will decrease impact on the Boreal as a whole. The policy sets a new standard for the catalog industry.
"Limited Brands has come a long way in two years, and we congratulate them for continuing to raise the bar of what environmental stewardship means," said Dan Howells, Paper Campaign Director for ForestEthics. "And with Limited Brands taking a leadership role, other major catalog companies will need to live up to a higher standard."